COURTS OF PARIS, NAPLES, ETC. 169 The Dutch ambassador gave a great ball the other night (I forget on what occasion), and the doors of his court were shut at nine, and only re-opened at eight the next morning—a ball of liberty ! Some gentlemen, whose wives were ill from the heat, were obliged to use force to get the doors opened. January zznd, 1797. No letter from you In this last packet. I only wish the folks who intercept them would forward them after reading their contents. I enclose one from Abb6 Durand's father to me, which will give the poor fellow pleasure. All the Durands in the world seem to enjoy good health; they seem to be a numerous clan. A gentleman here, for whom I got a friend released, has presented me with a perpetual ticket for the opera, so you may imagine I never go ; but my Lord Findlater,1 alias my secretary, does, and tells me all about it. There is a charming piece given now, called Anacreon chez Polycmte. i Alluding to the repeated answers given by Lady Find- later to George II. when, at her presentation, he asked her if she had been to the opera, museums, &c. " No, sir, but my Lord Findlater has,"